Toyota updates the venerable Land Cruiser

Looks better, even more capable off-road
Jan 25, 2012

TopGear.com.ph Philippine Car News - Toyota updates Land Cruiser

In production since 2007, the current-generation Toyota Land Cruiser has been updated in other markets not just with new exterior and interior styling tweaks, but with the latest technologies that give the SUV even greater off-road driving capability.

For its exterior, the 2012 Land Cruiser gets an oversized bumper with integrated fog lights and a new grille that pairs chrome and silver-finished vertical bars across its width. In spite of the bumper's large dimensions, the sharply trimmed lower section ensures that the front overhang does not compromise the approach angle when driving off-road. Also new are the reconfigured headlights that incorporate the LED daytime running lights with cylindrical high- and low-beam High Intensity Discharge bi-xenon headlights. The turn indicators have also been extended outward, increasing their visibility to the side.

For its sides, the Land Cruiser sports new side-protection molding with chrome detailing, while the door mirrors now incorporate LED turn indicators and side-view cameras linked to the new Multi-Terrain Monitor. At the back, the Land Cruiser's combination light clusters have been redesigned with LEDs and a new double-cylinder form that echoes the look of the headlights. The turn indicators are also more prominent, while the reversing lights have been relocated to be level with the license plate trim.

For the Land Cruiser's interior, extensive changes have been made to the dashboard layout, like the new audio panel, a piano-black paint finish for some elements with bright silver-finish trim and chrome-plated details on the switchgear and air vents. In addition, the driver's instrument binnacle now has white Optitron dials that are backlit with blue illumination and a large, color TFT multi-information display.

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Changes made to the Land Cruiser V8's cabin focus on raising the level of perceived quality in the look and feel of the interior. Up front, the seats have been upholstered in perforated leather with the addition of a cool air function in addition to built-in heaters, plus a position memory setting. Active headrests are also introduced to help prevent whiplash injury in a rear-end collision. In the rear, the 40:20:40 split seats have a new manual sliding mechanism that allows each section to be moved through a 90mm range. The outer seat headrests have been made larger for extra support and comfort, and the centre seat can be folded forward to create an armrest.

Despite these styling tweaks though, the Land Cruiser's ability to tackle the toughest off-road conditions is of paramount importance to the nameplate. Hence, the addition of advanced technologies to extend its capabilities even further. This includes the world's first Turn Assist, which works in conjunction with the vehicle's Crawl Control function. Operating at speeds below 10kph, the system works by reacting to the driver's steering inputs by braking the rear wheel on the same side of the vehicle as the direction of turn. The wheel braking force automatically increases with the steering angle, thus reducing the vehicle's turning radius.

Other new features are the Multi-terrain Select with five modes to suit different off-road conditions; the Multi-Terrain Monitor which provides a 360-degree view of vehicle surroundings via four external cameras; and the Variable Flow Control hydraulic power steering system.

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No word yet from Toyota Motor Philippines if and when the updated Land Cruiser will make its way here. What do you think?

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